Directions and Five Elements – Introduction

The building we are dwelling is made of Five Elements. (Space, Air, Fire, Water, And Earth – refer to Five Elements). How are these five elements created? We have discussed it in Vedic Astrology. What we need to know in Vaasthu Shastra is, how they are related to 8 directions. Vaasthu Purusha was born from the sweat of Shiva the God of Destruction. He fell on earth due the weight of all 45 Gods sitting on his back. His head is towards North East and Leg towards South west. He got Godly power due to the boon given by God Brahma.

This Vaasthu Shastra or Sthapatya Veda was created by Lord Brahma from his East face. Vaasthu means one that is created from matter. We know that matter is made of atoms. Whole universe is made of atoms. Each atom is made of matter and energy. This atom is basically square in shape. When many atoms join togather they form a sphere (due to surface tension).

We classify the Vaasthu in three Cataogaries. 1. Fixed Vaasthu 2. Moveable Vaasthu 3. Daily Vaasthhu.

  1. Fixed Vaasthu means Vaasthu Principles applicable to total area of construction with respect to Vaasthu Purusha. That is we asume that Vaasthu Purusha is lying on the whole area of construction. Here we consider head of the Vaasthu Purusha is towards North East and Leg towards South West.  Right hand towards North West and Left hand towards South East.
  2. In moveable Vaasthu, we consider that during the month of Virgo, Libra and Scorpio (15th of September to 15th of December) Vaasthu purusha’s head is towards East and facing South direction. During the months Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aquarius (15th of December to 15th of March) his head is towards South and facing West. During the months of Pisces, Aries, and Taurus (15th of March to 15th of June) his head is towards West and facing the North. During the Gemini, Cancer, and Leo months (15th of June to 15th of September) his head is towards North and Facing East. Here the direction in which Vaasthu purusha is facing is considered auspicious for placing the Main door of the building and also for laying the foundation stone.
  3. Daily Vaasthu means Vaasthu Purusha is said to change the direction of his head for every three hours (it is also called Java or Yama in Samskrit). From Sun rise for the first 3 hours his head is towards North and next 3 hours it is towards East, for next 3 hours it is towards South, for next 3 hours it is towards west. It repeats in the night too. During this period his right shoulder is upwards, so faces the front direction.  It is said that doing the construction work in that part of the building which Vaasthu purusha faces is auspicious.  During the construction of a building, Moveable and Daily Vaasthu must be followed and after completion of the building Fixed Vaasthu must be followed.

According to Vaastu Shastra, Five elements have the lordship on human body parts as follows.

  1. From foot to knee it is earth (bhoomi or pruthvi) tatva
  2. From knee to hip (hip – mooladhara chakra) water (jala) tatva
  3. From hip to heart (heart – anahata chakra) fire (agni) tatva
  4. From heart to forehead (forehead – ajna chakra) air (vayu) tatva
  5. From forehead to top of the head (head – sahasrara chakra) akasha (space) tatva

Let us discuss how they have synthesised these elements with directions.

In astrology 9 planets are assigned the lordship of 8 directions as follows.

  1. Sun (Surya): East (Poorva)
  2. Moon (Chandra): NorthWest (Vayuvya)
  3. Mars (Kuja): South (Dakshina)
  4. Mercury (Budha): North (Uttara)
  5. Jupiter (Guru) and Descending Node (Ketu): NorthEast (Eeshanya)
  6. Venus (Shukra): SouthEast (Aagneya)
  7. Saturn (Shani): West (Paschima)
  8. Ascending Node (Rahu) : SouthWest (Nairutya)

The planets also have lordship on five elements.

  1. Sun and Mars: Fire
  2. Moon and Venus : Water
  3. Mercury and Ascending Node: Earth
  4. Saturn: Air
  5. Jupiter and Descending node: Space

North pole or Magnetic north pole is considered as North direction. Here we must remember that Earth has an inclination of 23.5 degrees.  180 degrees opposite direction is South. Perpendicular or 90 degrees to this line in the center right side is East and 180 degrees opposite to East is West. These 4 are known as Main directions.

45 degrees between North and East is known as North East.

Similarly 45 degrees East and South is South East.

45 degrees South and West is South West.

45 degrees West and North is North West.

These 4 are known as Sub directions.

Square site must be first divided into 4 sections by two perpendicular lines and main directions must be noted correctly (these two perpendicular lines are called Matsya Rekha – Rekha means a line). Then draw diagonal lines and correctly note the sub directions (these are known as Shalya Rekha). In olden days, shadow at the sun rise was used to note these directions. So it becomes clear that they have not given much importance to Suns ingress towards Cancer or Capricorn.

One may ask, according to the body of Vaasthu Purusha, North East should have been Akasha or Space. Then the question is why have they given Water or Jala tatva for North East? They have divided the length and breadth of the site into 9 parts for 9 planets. There by creating 81 squares. They have called the Central 4 squares as Brahma sthana or place of creator. This place is allotted to Space since other 4 elements come from this space.  Since Vaasthu purusha is the facet of Shiva who holds Ganga, Goddess of water, on his head, Water or Jalatava is given to head portion. Leg portion was given Earth or Pruthvi tatva. Right side was given Fire or Agni Tatva, left side is given Air or Vayu tatva.